We sat down with Travis Quinn from Trustwave to talk about the many ways to keep you safe.
Security and Response (Systems and Management)
Travis Quinn’s no stranger to trying new things, which has meant a career pathway that’s anything but boring. He’s looked deep into the past as an archaeologist, protected Australia as a member of the Defence Force, and is now securing our future on the cutting edge of technology and cyber security.
His drive for national security led him to jumping at the chance to learn within the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, despite joining the Army without any cyber security experience.
'We’d just finished a course in our employment training and a Sergeant came into the room and asked, “Who likes computers?”
'Sensing an opportunity, I raised my hand. That was the beginning of my journey into information technology and cyber security.'
Being in cyber security since, Travis has explored topics no one has ever explored before. It’s an industry for anyone wanting to learn continuously and always improve.
Cyber security benefits from diversity
Travis spent 6 years working in electronic and cyber warfare before shifting into private enterprise with KPMG.
Although transitioning was tough, he leaned on his valuable experiences and knowledge from the Army and defence and transferred them into his new career. He spent a couple of years in various roles with KPMG before settling into principal security advisor at Trustwave.
Travis’s Army background helped him to integrate into any team. He says cyber security is for anyone; in fact, diversity of experience is important for a project to succeed.
'I like seeing how everyone solves problems in different ways. It's pretty amazing to see that in action,' says Travis.
'I work with people from diverse experiences, specialisations and cultural backgrounds. A team with a range of skills and personal attributes bring something really different to the table, and that variety improves the holistic outcome.'
Building in security from the start
At Trustwave, Travis helps organisations to embed security into their systems, rather than seeing it as an afterthought.
Like a civil architect, a security architect works closely with others to build robust systems. He works closely with IT professionals, and sometimes with governance and policy professionals, to design security into a system from the start.
'We help them to think about security, which from our perspective is often about our confidentiality (keeping information to just the people who need to know about it), our integrity (preventing information being tampered with, or being manipulated in some bad way) and availability (making sure things are available for the users when they need it and in the way they expect it),' Travis explains.
'As a cyber person, you're really just taking lessons learned from the past to do things better in the future. In security architecture, we take those lessons to build better systems or to improve existing systems for non-technical cyber professionals.
'It might be building better processes or spreading better awareness and education about cyber security. It's not about imposing security on people or on processes, it's about working together and building it in.'
All careers lead to a common goal
Ever looking for the next challenge, Travis is now completing a PhD in software defined network security, using new technologies to push the boundaries of what’s possible for cyber security.
But as he sees it, academia is just another area in which he can keep his country safe. He has learned cyber security from many angles and industries, and reflects that it’s important for the whole ecosystem to work together for a common goal.
'Much of cyber security comes from industry and universities, so having government and military cyber in a vacuum isn’t desirable,' says Travis.
'At a really basic level, everyone in cyber security is working on the same mission. And that mission is about people.
'We all go about it in different ways. We all achieve it in different ways. Some of us are aligned to security architecture. So, we're technically aligned. We do it through designing better systems.
'But other people do it through governance or through policy. Fundamentally, we all share the same root objective, which is keeping people safer.'